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Opioid Awareness

Content Development

What are Opioids?

Opioids are a class of drug that relieve pain and can produce a pleasurable effect to the brain and body. Opioids can be prescribed by doctors for pain relief, can be synthetic, and can be illegal. The most common opioids include:

  • Prescription Opioids: Methadone, Oxycodone, and Hydrocodone
  • Synthetic Opioids: Fentanyl
  • Illegal Opioids: Heroin

Opioid overdoses do not always occur due to illicit drug use, they can happen due to misuse of prescription opioids. So, let’s look at some ways an opioid overdoes can happen:

  • A patient misunderstands the directions for use, takes and extra dose, or deliberately misuses their prescription
  • Illicit drug use
  • Taking someone else’s prescribed opioid medication
  • Mixing opioids with other medications, alcohol, or over-the-counter drugs

Ways to recognize an opioid overdose may include:

  • The person is unresponsive to touch and voices
  • Abnormal breathing; very slow or breathing has stopped
  • Pin-point sized pupils
  • Bluish lips and nose

How to help someone who’s having an opioid overdose:

  • Lay them gently on their side in the recovery position
  • Ensure their airway remain open by tilting the head back and lifting the chin
  • Check breathing and monitor their condition until help arrives
  • If you have Narcan or can access Narcan immediately, administer it into the victims nose; Narcan can only be used on someone suffering from a opioid overdose


JJ Safety also provides training for Substance Abuse Prevention. Call us at 866-627-3850 for more information.

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